Business Value Propositions

All businesses must have and live their business value proposition. Business survival and growth hinges on creating value for your customers in the ways they need it.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article: “Any strategy lives or dies on the basis of its customer value proposition. There are many typologies relevant to crafting a value proposition, because there are many ways to win customers. But the key issue is always: what is the center-of-gravity in our approach? Do we ultimately compete on the basis of our cost structure (e.g., Ryanair and Wal-Mart) or another basis that increases our target customer’s willingness-to-pay (e.g., Singapore Airlines and Nordstrom)? In other words, will we sell it for more or make it for less — and allocate sales resources accordingly?”

Read the article here.

I would be interested in learning more about the business value propositions of Ashtabula County companies. Anyone want to share some?

2 thoughts on “Business Value Propositions

  1. Every business we coach, most are very small, has only one center of gravity externally: what do we offer uniquely?

    A signature menu item at a restaurant, fresh roasted beans at a coffee shop, sea salt bark at a candy store.

    Then we coach that their internal center of gravity must be: why does someone want to work here?

    This internal center has huge external impact since happy employees create happy customers.

    Sound too simple? It is. But it’s also extremely hard to execute, as we all know. So focus helps.

    There’s lots of room in our county for new businesses that can keep to these tenets. Our aim is to find more of them.


    Tim McCarthy, Chief Mission Officer
    The Business of Good Foundation

    Please check out my new book at


  2. Don,

    The article was a very good choice.
    This, as the article and you state, is the most basic principle of success in business. You must choose your niche. In manufacturing that may not only be the product but the process, or efficiency of that process.

    Burger King in the early days did not just locate across the street from McDonald’s because it was a good corner and then expect to be successful. They had to first develop a niche. In their case it was the fire broiling of their hamburgers. That’s what made them different. That’s what would hopefully appeal to the “hamburger fans” in those early years — a flame broiled burger, rather than one cooked on a greasy skillet. They survive today because they identified their niche, differentiated themselves — although, so does McD’s, because that secret sauce for the Big Mac is pretty tasty too!!

    Jack Nettis


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